The Kitchen of Mirth presents
A Chyne of Beefe roasted

A Faire Chyne of Beefe was once given to Mr. John Fletcher, (the poet) he pray'd his Hostesse, (being an old woman neere the Bank-side, where he lodged) to salt it well seven or eight daies, and he would invite some friends to the eating of it: the day being come, and the Chine at the Fire, the Woman had not playd the Huswife so well in salting of it, but that it had taken Ayre, and entertain'd more Tenants than were welcome: but after it had been three houres at the fire, Master Fletcher had a minde to have a slice hot from the spit, and for that purpose came downe from his Chamber, drew his knife, and cut; and as hee cut, hee espyed Maggots drop out, at which hee was angry, but suffering the Spit to goe about, hee cut on the other side, and found it worse: Whereupon Fletcher being alone, (for the Woman was gone forth, and left the Jacke to looke to the Spit) was so enraged, that hee tooke the spit up, and setting his foot against the meate, footed it off, and threw it into a muddy ditch on the other side of the way, and putting the Spit into the Jacke-rope againe, went up to his Chamber againe in a chafe: the old woman suddainly comming in, and seeing the meate gone, was amazed, and stept into the streete, and asked some of her neighbours, if they saw any body goe into her house? one made answer, that Mr. Fletcher went over to the Ditch, and backe againe, but he saw nobody else, then the woman went to see, and she perceived the mudde was newly inclosed over something that had been cast therein lately: So she fetcht a Rake, and raked the Beefe out of the ditch, put it under a Pumpe, and with a wispe, ashes, and sand, wash'd and scower'd it, so that all the Gentiles in it were confounded, then to the Spit shee put it againe, winds up the Jacke, which made a noise in his language whir whir; which Mr. Fletcher hearing, mused what was provided for his Guests and himselfe; the old woman being gone into her back-side, Fletcher stole softly downe the stayres, and peeping towards the fire, saw the Chine a roasting the second time, at which amazement hee blest himselfe, saying, Art thou crawl'd thither againe, thou shalt never be remov'd for me againe: so it was roasted, and gave good content to the Guests, but some of them said, it had taken winde.

This 17th century woodcut shows meat being roasted on spits.

  • A Chyne of Beefe roasted. Source: Taylor, John. Taylor's Feast. London: Printed by J. Okes dwelling in little St. Bartholmews, 1638

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